Academic journal article The Journal of Negro History

Alma Rene Williams. (in Memoriam: A Personal Tribute)

Academic journal article The Journal of Negro History

Alma Rene Williams. (in Memoriam: A Personal Tribute)

Article excerpt

1947-2000

Alma Rene Williams, an associate professor of history at Clark Atlanta University since 1979, died on January 25, 2000, after a long illness. Recognized as a master teacher, a noteworthy historian of the African American experience, and a true professional, Dr. Williams will be missed. The passing of Dr. Williams on the eve of the February 2000 observance of Black History Month is particulary poignant because of her contributions in her chosen field. Indeed, when we review Dr. Alma Williams' professional career we see that she emulated the philosophy of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the renowned father of Black History. In a 1935 speech, Dr. Woodson urged his audience to "let the light of history enable us to see." In that same Woodson tradition, Dr. Alma Williams used history as a light to enable us to see both the problems and the promises of the past as well as the prospects and hopes for the future.

Dr. Williams' labors in the field of history included her service throughout the 1980s as a consultant/historian for the United Negro College Fund, Inc., and she completed a manuscript chronicling the history of that organization. During the 1990s, Dr. Williams joined colleagues from around the nation in a project co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Duke University to document the Jim Crow system in the South. Following her work with that project, Dr. Williams designed two history courses on the subject.

Dr. Williams joined the faculty of Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) in 1979. During her tenure at that institution, Dr. Williams held several important positions, including chair of the history department (1989-1995), chair of the faculty assembly, and coordinator of a faculty exchange program. For the University's annual Black History Month celebration, Dr. Williams created a Black History Quiz Bowl that attracted scores of participants and large audiences each year. …

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